Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Some people think I can't eat anything good anymore since going grain and sugar-free. I still get my sweet fix, it's just that I make it rather than buy it. That way I know what's going into the sweets and into my body. 

My favorite donut recipe so far is Pumpkin Donuts. Easy to make plus Amazon sells cute little donut tins. (Check out my Amazon Store at the top of my blog for a direct link to buy you own!) 

Here's the recipe: 

Pumpkin Donuts

1 1/2 cups almond flour 
1/4 tsp sea salt 
1/2tsp baking soda 
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
1/2 tsp each:  ground nutmeg , cloves, ginger
2 tbls Butter
1/2 cup sweetener of choice (xylitol and erythritol are available thru amazon and my Amazon store
3 eggs 
1 cup canned pumpkin 

In one bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In another bowl, mix butter, sweetener, eggs and pumpkin until smooth. Stir pumpkins mixture into the dry ingredients. Grease you new cute donut tins. Spoon batter into the tins making sure to leave your donut "hole" visible. Bake at 325° for 30-40 minutes. Cool. 

 Need it sweeter yet?? Try this cream cheese frosting: 

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz cream cheese 
2 tbls milk 
3 tbls Swerve Powdered Sweetener (to taste) 

 Stir until smooth and frost away!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sugar is Poison

You have heard me say this over and over and over again.  Sorry about that.  No…I’m actually not.  You need to hear this.  You need to understand this.  You need to believe this.  You need to stop eating it.  Here’s why:

  1. Sugar makes you fat.  
  2. Sugar can cause Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. 
  3. Sugar is addicting.

 Let’s deep a little deeper into my statements above. 

1. Sugar makes you fat.  Really a no brainer here, right?  Doesn’t everyone believe that eating a lot of sugar will make you fat?  Sugar is empty calories the "experts" all say.  Your body does not have a need to take in extra sugar – it does a fine job of converting fruits, vegetables and other unrefined carbohydrates into blood sugar (or glucose).  This glucose is then used as your body’s primary energy source.  The problems begin when you take in more than you need – the excess is stored as fat.

2.  Sugar can cause Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.  Again, a no brainer with regards to diabetes.  We all can agree that diabetics shouldn’t eat too much sugar.  Processed or refined sugar (the kind you buy at the supermarket, in bags of five pounds at a time) enters your blood stream immediately.  Your body starts producing insulin to work on this overload.  This is also the “sugar high” you get after eating sweets.  Once the insulin has does its job, you get your energy “crash”.  What do you do then?  Oh yeah…eat more sugar.  The sugar from fruits, veggies, and other unrefined carbs, however, is eaten along with the fiber that is in those foods.  The fiber slows down the entry of glucose into your blood stream and you don’t experience the high or the crash.  So by continually giving your body more sugar than it needs, your insulin response is working overtime.  Eventually, it won’t work like it used to.  You will experience greater highs and lows.  You may become weak or dizzy or even shaky between meals due to your blood sugar being too low.  Your body is now working so hard to process the extra sugar that it can’t do much else for you…like fight off infections…. so you catch everything that comes around the office.  This is referred to as insulin resistance and it is thought to be the main link to Type 2 Diabetes as well as the underlying factor in heart disease and possibly many cancers.

3.   Sugar is addicting.  I can hear you tell me, “It tastes so good.  I love eating sweet things.  I just can’t stop eating them.”  Wanna know why you can’t stop?  Sugar is addicting – just like a drug or alcohol.  The more you eat, the more you want.  What happens when you stop eating sugar?  You crave it….you lust after it….you seek it out and give into temptation.  That’s if you’re lucky.  You may suffer withdrawal symptoms….headaches, depression, weakness, sleepiness or even fatigue.  Sounds like drug withdrawal doesn’t it?

Now the scary stuff….yes, it does get worse.  SUGAR IS EVERYWHERE.  It's not just in cakes, cookies, candy bars, ice cream, etc.  It’s in breads, tomato sauce, mayonnaise, peanut butter, canned crab meat, bacon…..the list goes on and on.  So, while you think you may not eat a lot of sugar, if you eat anything that comes out of a box, a jar, or a can, you might be eating additional sugar.  Here are a couple of labels of common foods – notice the ingredient list:

The bread shown here has THREE different types of sugar added!  And speaking of different types of sugar……with a little investigating, I have found 70 different names for sugar.  SEVENTY!!  I know you wanna know, so here they are: 

1.      Free flowing brown sugar
2.      Agave nectar
3.      Barbados Sugar
4.      Barley malt
5.      Beet sugar
6.      Blackstrap molasses
7.      Brown sugar
8.      Buttered syrup
9.      Cane crystals
10.   Cane juice crystals
11.   Cane sugar
12.   Caramel
13.   Carob syrup
14.   Castor sugar
15.   Confectioner’s sugar
16.   Corn syrup
17.   Corn sweetener
18.   Corn syrup solids
19.   Crystalline fructose
20.   Date sugar
21.   Demerara Sugar
22.   Dextrin
23.   Dextran
24.   Dextrose
25.   Diastatic malt
26.   Diatase
27.   D-mannose
28.   Evaporated cane juice
29.   Ethyl maltol
30.   Florida chrystals
31.   Free flowing
32.   Fructose
33.   Fruit juice
34.   Fruit juice concentrate
35.   Galactose
36.   Glucose
37.   Glucose solids
38.   Golden sugar
39.   Golden syrup
40.   Granulated sugar
41.   Grape sugar
42.   Grape juice concentrate
43.   HFCS
44.   High-fructose corn syrup
45.   Honey
46.   Icing sugar
47.   Invert sugar
48.   Lactose
49.   Malt syrup
50.   Maltodextrin
51.   Maltose
52.   Mannitol
53.   Maple syrup
54.   Molasses
55.   Muscovado sugar
56.   Organic raw sugar
57.   Panocha
58.   Powdered sugar
59.   Raw sugar
60.   Refiner’s syrup
61.   Rice Syrup
62.   Sorbitol
63.   Sorghum syrup
64.   Sucrose
65.   Sugar
66.   Syrup syrup
67.   Table sugar
68.   Treacle
69.   Turbinado sugar
70.   Yellow sugar

But, you cry out, sugar is all natural!!  It has to be better than artificial sweeteners!  Ah….but is your sugar really natural??  Compare today’s sugar to the all-natural sugar cane or sugar beet, and you’ll find it has been refined and processed to virtually eliminate any vitamins, enzymes and other beneficial nutrients.  See this Wikipedia page for all the gory details: particularly like how sugar dust can cause explosions!!

I will agree, however, that even with all the refining, white sugar is marginally better than ingesting artificial sweeteners – but that is another story for another day.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sunflower seed crackers

Sometimes you just need a cracker.  But, being grain-free, this need presents quite the challenge.  Fear no more, my friends.  Meet your new cracker!

Sunflower seed crackers
1- 4 ounce bag sunflower seeds 
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or 1/2 cup shredded cheddar)
1/4 cup water (may need a little more)
Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put the sunflower seeds, almond flour and cheese in a food processor and process until the sunflower seeds are a flour-like consistency. Add the water, and process until the dough is well blended -- it will be sticky. 

You can either use a tortilla press or a rolling pin to make these thin.  With a tortilla press, take about a teaspoon of dough and press between two pieces of plastic (I use a ziploc bag that I have cut the ziploc part off of and then also cut the sides so it's only connected on at one end.)  Transfer onto a cookie sheet that is covered with parchment paper.  You will have round crackers

To  make square crackers:  Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper.  Take another piece of parchment and put it on top of the dough. Use a rolling pin roll the dough as thin and evenly as you can.  Thin is good.  Try not to get holes in your dough, though.  Transfer onto a cookie sheet.  Remove the top layer of parchment.  You can cut your "crackers" into whatever shape you like with a knife or a pizza cutter. 

Salt the tops of your crackers and bake for 25-30 minutes - just until evenly browned.  For the round crackers, you can just let them cool on the cookie sheet.  For the square crackers, remove the top piece of parchment, break the crackers apart and let cool. 

Store them in a ziploc bag or a tightly sealed container.

I actually prefer the cheddar cheese in these crackers, but it's up to you.  Experiment with your cheese of choice.  I also think adding some mexican spices like cumin and red pepper would be good - especially as a replacement for tortilla chips when eating guacamole!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 everything

"When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength.  Give thanks for your food and the joy of living.  If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself."

Tecumseh (1768-1813)
Shawnee Native American Leader

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Things I know to be true

  • Sugar is poison
  • High cholesterol is not a disease - it does not need to be treated
  • Eating fat does not make you fat
  • The wheat we eat today is not the same wheat our grandparent's ate
  • You have to be an expert in reading labels
  • MSG is really, really bad stuff
  • Nature has already provided us with everything we need to be healthy and live a long life 
  • Drug companies are extraordinarily evil
  • The FDA doesn't care about our health - only their profits